As promised by the Urban Tulsa publisher, Keith Skrzypczak, today’s edition contains the formal response from the paper regarding the accusations of plagiarism by its cartoonist David Simpson. Noted is the news that Simpson has stated that he is retiring from editorial cartooning.
Dave Simpson, an award-winning, nationally syndicated former editorial cartoonist with the erstwhile afternoon daily Tulsa Tribune, and then with the morning daily Tulsa World, began drawing cartoons for Urban Tulsa Weekly some several years ago. His cartoon for the Oct. 20-26 Issue on Page 7 depicted what UTW was told was his original conception of the city of Tulsa’s ongoing dispute and angst with the taxpayer bailout of Great Plains Airlines.
Some of Simpson’s peers in the editorial cartoon business noticed a similarity of this piece to a cartoon the famed, Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune cartoonist Jeff MacNelly drew in the late ’70s depicting former President Jimmy Carter’s contrived bailout of the B-1 bomber. Simpson apologizes to Urban Tulsa readers for his using of the late MacNelly’s original cartoon to illustrate a concept he would have liked to have called his own. At the same time, Simpson has resigned from his contracted weekly gig at UTW and said he is retiring from the editorial cartooning business.
We respect his decision and appreciate the forgiveness of Simpson by Jeff’s widow, Susie MacNelly in this matter.
The publisher tells me that he is committed to finding a new cartoonist.